A Tap On The Window by Linwood Barclay

A very good mystery by a Canadian author (chosen from the CBC List of 100 Authors who make us proud to be a Canadian).  This is a plot-driven mystery, so not much description of place. An intrepid private eye solves several murders, with the usual corrupt police force. There is a good surprise at the ending!

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/16072980-a-tap-on-the-window16072980

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The Epicure’s Lament by Kate Christensen

Hugo is obnoxious, cynical and bitter with self-loathing, so a thoroughly unpleasant person who has chosen to be a hermit. His choice of suicide to end his life (spoiler alert) is thwarted leading to a not entirely satisfactory ending but the writing is excellent throughout. (You may remember that I recommended another Christensen book 41nvoth05bllast month, The Great Man)

http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/148216.The_Epicure_s_Lament

The Great Man – Kate Christensen

The Great ManOn one level, this is a great book about art in NY. But at its core, this is about relationships – the three women who were intimately involved in the life of a painter who has just died: his sister, wife and long-time lover. The story revolves around the different viewpoints of these three strong women, mostly from when they are old (70s-80s).

A Tale For The Time Being – Ruth Ozeki

tale for the time beingThis is a brilliant story. A woman in the BC Gulf Islands (Ruth) finds a diary washed ashore, written by a 15 year-old (Nao) in Japan in which her relationship with her 104 year-old great-grandmother is described. Story is a mystery with some magical elements, with Zen philosophy and some quantum mechanics to describe time and place (a little like 1Q84). A fascinating question is asked: How does reading a story impact the ending?

Wide Sargasso Sea – Jean Rhys

wide sargasso seaThis is the back-story to Rochester’s mad wife in Jane Eyre, a woman trapped in England after a life in the Caribbean. Rochester is revealed as first immature, then manipulative, greedy and deceitful so that his wife Antoinette is driven into madness. The author Rhys’ story is also fascinating.